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Perhaps more than any other Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. the Board of Education, the 1954 decision declaring the segregation of public schools unconstitutional, highlighted both the possibilities and the limitations of American democracy. This collection of sixteen original essays takes the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Brown to reconsider the history and legacy of that landmark decision. It places examinations of the law and national institutions in dialogue with explorations of minority communities and local activism. From the Grassroots to the Supreme Court provides both legal analysis and a rich look how men and women across racial, ethnic, and regional lines understood Brown and sought to make the decision meaningful in their own lives. Historians and legal scholars, the contributors illuminate the breadth of developments that led to Brown, from the parallel struggles for social justice among African Americans in the South and Mexican, Asian, and Native Americans in the West during the late-nineteenth century to the political and legal strategies implemented by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the early twentieth century.;Describing Brown's impact on local communities, essayists explore conflict among African Americans over the implementation of Brown in Atlanta's public schools and understandings of the ruling and its relevance among Puerto Rican migrants in New York City. Assessing the legacy of Brown today, contributors reflect on the influence of the 1954 decision on contemporary law, African American thought, and educational opportunities for minority children.